September 13, 2013
The writing is clear and economical, and to Maksik’s credit it never competes with Jacqueline’s ongoing plight. Add a plot so tightly focused on her immediate hardships and the unbreakable link to her mother, whose voice comes to her in memory with advice both wanted and unwanted, and Maksik seems to have set up an absolute gauntlet for himself.
September 11, 2013
David is the vehicle for Coetzee’s effort to explore belief’s ability to conquer doubt — more particularly, the doubt of Simón — and of the way fantasies can coax even doubt itself into becoming a form of trust, of faith, of belief.
September 10, 2013
by Ben Hamilton
Nick Coleman, a long-time music journalist in the UK, was made aware of his body’s terrible capriciousness when one of his ears stopped working. It left a dull blankness for a while, and then a building cacophony of tinnitus in both ears so severe that balance and concentration became almost impossible. Burdened with what could have been a ruinous impediment, he reaffirms his love of music.
September 4, 2013
by Bill Morris
Marisha Pessl’s writing has done a lot of growing up in the seven years since Special Topics in Calamity Physics was published. Her new novel is bigger, more ambitious, and far more satisfying than her splashy debut.
August 30, 2013
by Luke Wiget
What follows are love affairs in hotel rooms, quiet suicides in basements, and monologues about being known for wearing goofy hats. What follows are stories that don’t begin and end in the same place, at least not emotionally. There are whole stories in what isn’t said.
August 29, 2013
To portray gay life in the city as Sicha has done — in a manner that’s both realistic and insightful — would be a noteworthy accomplishment in any era, but must be considered particularly remarkable in today’s publishing climate, in which major publishing houses offer readers more gay characters written by straight authors than gay ones. It’s a beautifully written and carefully documented book about a group of people that, to our society’s collective detriment, continues to be largely ignored, dismissed, and stereotyped.
August 23, 2013
by Katie Rogin
This writer gives good sex. Celia experiences sex — when she engages in or overhears it — much like she experiences her city, as both threat and connection, distance and intimacy.
August 20, 2013
That Green’s text, like her life, is marked by an awareness of suffering — loss, grief, psychic alienation — makes Bough Down, as excruciating as it is, deeply satisfying.
August 15, 2013
by Greg Walklin
Javier Marías may be the only significant working writer to also be a king. As the sovereign of Redonda, Marías is the honorary monarch. His two-decade reign has nearly entirely consisted of bestowing titles on various artists — John Ashbery is the Duke of Convexo, for example — as part of an effort at tongue-in-cheek recognition.
August 12, 2013
This is not a book about there. It’s about here, what America feels like, here, and now, while at war.